Alternatives to kite power

I was looking though my old MAKE magazines, and found the schematics for a Kite Aerial Photography rig. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's a camera attached to a kite that allows for aerial photographs to be taken remotely. However, I live in Texas, and the only time the wind blows here is when it rains. And rain means lightning. So, rather than risk electrocution, I'd like to come up with some alternative methods of lift. I was considering a large helium balloon (like a weather balloon), but I was wanting something that I could say I made myself. Then I considered hot air, but I'm not sure how large a homebrewed hot air balloon would have to be to lift a camera. Any suggestions?

peteohms9 years ago
ewilhelm9 years ago
This won't generate enough lift at the size I made it, but is a start: Candle Powered Hot Air Balloon.
schorhr9 years ago
It really depends on theweight of the camera. My advice would be to buy a cheap remote controll airplane ($30-40) or build one yourself ;-) Silverlit has the Airlifter, which, if you get lucky, flies very well out of the box and could lift a small usb-stick-camcorder or something. Hot air would really need to be big and plastic tends to melt, helium on the other side gets rather expensive on larger scale projects. Also a friend once had a model rocket with a 110 camera. The price was about 15 dollars or such in a sale.